Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kill the poor

The Government is shovelling out almost twice as many grants to help unemployed people back to work as it did before the recession.

Just over 110,000 grants were paid in the year to September for such things as new clothes and shoes, work tools, removing tattoos and getting unwarranted or unregistered cars back on the road.
Shovelling, I tell you, shovelling; but then:
Larger grants up to the full $1500 annual limit are available for the costs of taking up a definite job offer, including tools and equipment, moving house, initial childcare costs and initial transport costs such as registration and a warrant of fitness if a vehicle is essential for the job.

However, the grant cannot be used to pay for actual vehicle repairs or to buy a car. Work and Income can lend beneficiaries up to $400 for vehicle repairs under a separate policy, but requires repayment. It does not give grants or loans to buy a car.
And then:
Grants made to take up job offers account for almost all the increase in costs between 2005-06 and last year, trebling from $4.5 million to $14 million.
But what about the tattoos? What about the shovelling? What about the blaming Labour? Here's what happened: WINZ granted more money so that unemployed people could become employed than it did before the recession. This would be the sort of thing that you might expect to happen during a recession, given that recessions cause unemployment.

The remarkable thing about this article is that it contains its own contradictions: one does not need to go outside to discover what is wrong with it. The emotive opening paragraph is contradicted by the factual paragraphs that follow. Could this another manifestation of the Herald Effect, the bipolarity which so often is found in Herald editorials? Has the Effect now spread to news items? I think we should be told.

Helping unemployed people with the expenses they incur in getting back into work is both the decent thing to do and the most sensible. People need jobs; the economy needs people in jobs; only barking mad ACT on Campus types would disagree. But the Herald sees a double opportunity: to hate on the poor and to raise the spectre of taxpayers' money being misspent. Sod the facts. It is so much easier to suggest that taxpayers' hard-earned money is being squandered on tattooed bludgers with defunct cars abandoned on the front lawns of their state houses.

Tattoo found here; Dead Kennedys next exit:


Samuel said...

I worry for the morale of the nation's remaining shovellers by trade, since the word has become so entirely pejorative in use.

They're probably the wrong demographic for the business pages or Viva though, so no harm done I suppose.

Boganette said...

I wholeheartedly support the use of that picture and that video clip/song for this most excellent blog post.

Paul said...

Thank you. And congatulations on your engagement.

Boganette said...